Woke up this morning to terrible but familiar news. A black man killed by police. Shocking? No. Hurtful and heart breaking? Yes. I’ve read the stories and listened to what allegedly happened, I have not watched the video. Nor do I plan to. I believe that seeing someone die is intimate, and the type of thing that stays attached to your spirit. I don’t want to carry that. I wondered what I should write about this week, and once I woke up the morning to read the news of what happened to Alton Sterling I didn’t have a choice. It had to be about this. It had to be about us.
I don’t know what to say. We are being killed by police because they don’t think of us as human. That is apparent. How can they see us as daughters, sons, mothers, and fathers? I don’t know. because I don’t understand how you see another person and not see a life that matters. How do you get programmed to see a human being, but not see them as human? How do you look at a person and naturally feel fear upon them merely existing? I don’t know.
There is no other way to present it, and I don’t want to. I don’t care if he had a gun. I don’t care if he has committed a laundry list of petty or not so petty crimes. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t want to think about what the officers must have felt. I don’t care. And you can stay mad about it. I also don’t care about that. If you are called to do police work I feel you should be judged at a higher standard. You should carry yourself at a higher standard. The standard all our black bodies are held out when we lay slain at the hands of the law. Higher even. Somehow, the standard law enforcement is held to is the scariest, the weakest, the most fragile standard. Can a doctor kill people and say well medicine isn’t an exact science so my bad i didn’t do all my research? Can a firefighter not really fuck with fire like that? “Sorry family I cant sacrifice my life for yours. I didn’t sign up for this.”
What do i tell my son? How do I arm him with the tools to stay alive, not scare white folks, be successful, and be emotionally well-adjusted? How?! How do we, stay healthy and stay alive? How do we prosper and stay alive? How do we love and cherish and stay alive? How do I go to work and see white colleagues and they haven’t heard Alton Sterling’s name? How? You live here!! This is your mess. I’m tired of cleaning up your mess. I’m tired of being safe black for you, and not making this the topic of conversation to make you see your mess. You see it! YOU SEE THIS. I’m tired of you. Im tired of you and your mess. CLEAN UP YOUR MESS.